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Babies Born With Birth Defects Increasing In Number

Update Date: Jan 23, 2016 04:37 PM EST

Health authorities are seriously puzzled over the sudden increase of birth defects in which the intestines and sometimes organs extrude from the newborn baby's stomach wall close to the belly button, with a baffling sharp rise in cases among African-American mothers.

This rare birth defect known as gastroschisis has got health officials worried in recent years since documented cases have been particularly high for young black mothers below 21 years of age.

In a report recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a 263% rise in gastroschisis in births attributed to young black mothers from 1995 to 2012 based on the analysis of birth data the agency gathered across 14 states.

What's causing such birth defect to rise?

There is no definite answer to the question as of this time. It could be linked to some genetic or environmental factors.

"It concerns us that we don't know why more babies are being born with this serious birth defect. Public health research is urgently needed to figure out the cause and why certain women are at higher risk of having a baby born with gastroschisis," remarked Coleen Boyle of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities as quoted saying by CNN.

Also, the government-released report seems to resonate with the day-to-day ICU experiences of many doctors across the country.

"Anecdotally, over the years, most neonatologists would agree we've seen a steady persistent increase in the number of babies we see each year with gastroschisis," observed Dr. James Greenberg of the Perinatal Institute and director of Neonatology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as mentioned in a report by The Washington Post.

While gastroschisis is a life-threatening ordeal, babies are often immediately whisked away for surgical treatments to prevent the exposed organs from irritation and infection according to Los Angeles Times.

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